Medical marijuana and gout
Marijuana has been used for many centuries as a medicinal plant, and is now being rediscovered as a potential remedy for gout pain.
Marijuana (latin name: cannabis) has over 80 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, which affect the central nervous system and potentially offer pain relief.
The two most prominent cannabinoids are:
- THC (tetrahydocannabinol) – the primary psychoactive compound that gives cannabis its recreational use, and is believed to have medicinal value as well.
- CBD (cannabidiol) – the primary medicinal compound that gives cannabis its beneficial application in many medical conditions including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, cancer and inflammation.
Cannabis for Gout
Although scientific research has been limited due to legal obstacles, certain strains of cannabis are considered to be useful in mediating inflammation and arthritis, which indicates potential as a gout treatment:
- CBD-rich strains – Certain cannabis plants contain higher levels of CBD than THC, making them MMJ (medical marijuana) strains of choice. Examples of CBD-rich strains include R4, Harlequin, Jamaican Lion, and Omrita Rx.
- Indica-dominant strains – Marijuana plants can have a botanical classification of either Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, or both as a hybrid. Sativa is uplifting and energizing, while Indica is relaxing and relieving. Indica-dominant strains are preferred by many people seeking pain relief.
Legality of Medical Marijuana
Prior to the mid-1930’s cannabis was mostly unregulated in the United States, and thus was readily available either by purchasing or by growing the herb. After that it became regulated as a drug – until recently.
- In 1996 California became the first state to legalize the sale and possession of marijuana for medical purposes, and by early 2014 nineteen U.S states allowed cannabis for medical purposes.
- In 2013 Colorado became the first U.S. state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.
However, U.S. federal laws still prohibit the sales and possession of all marijuana, medical or not.
Obtaining Marijuana for Gout
If you live in Colorado, just take your photo ID to an MJ dispensary and bring your credit card. You’ll be on your way!
If you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal, you will need to obtain a doctor’s prescription before heading down to the dispensary.
☆ Bottom Line: Many people have experienced profound pain relief through the use of cannabis, including pain from inflammation and arthritis which are associated with gout pain.
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Medical marijuana has been found to be useful in alleviating inflammation and therefore pain . . . gout pain? You'll have to try it! TheGoutKiller.com
Updated on April 13, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Gout can impact your quality of life significantly. Realizing medical marijuana can be a real treatment route to relieve your painful arthropathy gout symptoms can be highly beneficial. Not to mention, you no longer need to take a handful of harmful drugs to experience symptom relief.
Why Marijuana Can Be an Effective Treatment for Arthropathy Gout
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a promising candidate for being a good alternative treatment for gout. It’s already been shown as a potent anti-inflammatory and quality pain reliever.
CBD-rich strains are especially helpful in treating gout-related inflammation and pain. CBD is known to reduce your body’s lymphocytes — white blood cells that can contribute to inflammation. A 2008 study on mice with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) showed when they were given CBD, the cannabinoid reduced their inflammation by 50 percent.
In another study that evaluated the effectiveness of cannabis in easing arthritic joints and pain in humans, researchers found cannabinoids effectively controlled pain signals sent to the brain from affected joints.
In a Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases study, RA patients who were given marijuana-based medication had substantial improvements in:
- Pain at rest
- Quality of sleep
There’s a connection between arthritis, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and CBD. Your ECS is in charge of many internal responses to stress with the goal of creating a harmonized homeostasis in your body. Your ECS isn’t always fully functional, like any other natural process. There’s always the chance it can misfire and this can lead to your immune system overreacting — developing an autoimmune disease.
Arthritis is among these potential developments and gout is a form of arthritis, which could also lead to an overactive immune system.
What Side Effects or Symptoms of Arthropathy Gout Can Medical Marijuana Treat?
As we’ve seen, gout is a type of arthritis that causes pain, inflammation, tenderness causes pain, inflammation, tenderness and swelling. It’s an extremely and frequently debilitating disease, although the symptoms can come and go as quickly as a few days or stay as long as a few months. It mimics in just about every way rheumatoid arthritis and often initially will be diagnosed as such.
Although this wouldn’t be a horrid condition, as some of the drugs prescribed for RA would bring the gout patient relief for a little while, misdiagnosed ailments are costly in the long run to both patients and the medical field as visits would continue since the patient can’t find enough relief to function.
As we’ve mentioned, gout’s two primary symptoms are inflammation and pain. CBD’s anti-inflammatory role is well-documented and impressive. Additionally, medical marijuana produces enough pain relief to end the need for other prescription medications for gout.
The psychoactive effects of high-THC cannabis can make one giddy and happy, despite what level of pain they are feeling — and laughter is the best medicine of all.
Best Strains of Marijuana to Use for Arthropathy Gout Symptoms and Treatment Side Effects
Over several decades, breeders have been making many strains rich in THC content to provide users with a stronger “high,” rather than putting their focus on the therapeutic benefits of the plants. Fortunately, more and more CBD-rich strains are popping up that can help with gout symptoms.
Gout suffers may want to “mix and match” the two main strains of medical marijuana to get the right dosage level of each that manages their symptoms best. With a little trial and error, you can get the benefits of some relief without serious side effects or several trips to the doctor. As long as you have a medicinal marijuana card in the state where it is legal, you can show it to any dispensary or grower and request a change in the type or sub-type of medical marijuana you need.
Some potentially beneficial cannabis for arthropathy gout strains include:
- Girl Scout Cookies (Indica-dominant): A beneficial strain for treating pain and provides potent, full-body pain relief.
- ACDC (Sativa-dominant): ACDC delivers a high CBD/low THC ratio, so patients still experience relief from pain, but without the high.
- Cannatonic (Hybrid): Treats inflammation and pain very well. It’s low in THC and high in CBD, producing a mellow, short-lived high. Provides great pain relief without you getting couch-locked.
- Canna Tsu (Hybrid): Low in THC and loaded with high CBD, this strain can keep you clear-headed, allowing you to focus on other things separate from your gout-associated pain.
- Harlequin (Sativa-dominant): If you’re looking to avoid the high and function all day, Harlequin is your strain. It has a 5:2 CBD:THC ratio, making it extremely effective at treating arthritic-like pain.
Best Methods of Marijuana Treatment to Use to Treat Side Effects and Symptoms of Arthropathy Gout
If you’re considering using medical cannabis for arthropathy gout treatment for pain relief, you might be wondering how to take it.
Gout sufferers can take medical marijuana in just about any form. From the classically inhaled to topical balms, patients with gout can find the route to relief with medical marijuana their way.
Here are some suggestions:
Ingested or Topical
The ingested and topical methods are high on the list of recommended means of consumption if you have gout. Inflammation is reduced, swelling is relieved somewhat and the pain threshold becomes elevated so you can’t feel any hurt at all. Here are a few options for ingesting medical cannabis:
- Pills and capsules
- Fresh cannabis
Topical methods include ointments and transdermal patches.
CBD oil can be one of the best methods to use to for your arthropathy gout cannabis treatment. You can inhale, ingest or apply CBD oil topically to the painful, inflamed gout area. It’s most potent and effective when you administer it as a “full-spectrum” tincture. This means that it includes a wide range of cannabinoids present in the hemp plant, including, CBG (Cannabigerol), CBN (Cannabinol) and THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin), to name just three.
Other Great Methods
Is Medical Marijuana a Good Treatment Option for Your Arthropathy Gout?
Marijuana for arthropathy gout provides you with a highly powerful alternative to treating your symptoms of gout. All individuals are unique in how they experience gout symptoms. Therefore, to get the most out of your cannabis for arthropathy gout treatment, you’ll want to consult with a marijuana doctor and go over your symptoms precisely. They’ll be able to guide you in the best course of cannabis treatment unique to your symptoms.
To learn more about marijuana and arthropathy gout therapy and how it can improve the quality of your life, talk to a marijuana-certified doctor today. After that, browse our extensive dispensary list to find one in your area to begin your search for your perfect cannabis products.
What is Arthropathy Gout?
Arthropathy gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis historically referred to as the “disease of kings.” Others called it the “rich man’s disease” because it was a condition that only the wealthy, with access to rich foods and flowing wine, could afford.
Arthropathy gout, sometimes referred to as gouty arthropathy or gouty arthritis, is a medical condition occurring when uric acid crystal deposits form in a joint space. It’s not only painful but may also:
- Cause deformity.
- Create movement impairments.
- Make walking difficult.
Gout most often arrives without warning and causes you to experience intense pain in a variety of joints. While it is most commonly your big toe that gout impacts, it can trigger pain in your other joints as well, including:
With prompt treatment, gout pain is manageable and will go away in a matter of time. Though it can recur at any time, if left untreated, however, your arthropathy gout symptoms will worsen over time.
Symptoms of Arthropathy Gout
The symptoms of arthropathy gout are fairly consistent across all patients who have the condition. They may include any or all of the following:
- Sudden, severe joint pain, often occurring late at night or during the early morning hours
- Joint tenderness, appearing red or purplish or being warm to the touch
- Joint stiffness
- Limited range of motion
- Joint swelling
- Hard nodules in the affected area
- High blood pressure
- Chronic kidney disease
- Cardiovascular disease
Because the health risks associated with gout are so serious, it’s worth scheduling an appointment with your family physician if you suspect you may have gout.
Causes of Arthropathy Gout
A buildup of uric acid in your blood causes gout. Uric acid is created by your body or found in the foods you eat.
The kidneys filter normal levels of uric acid from your body and expel the leftovers in the form of urine. When your body fails to expel a sufficient amount of uric acid, crystals form, causing painful inflammation, swelling and redness.
One of the most common causes of gout is consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. Other potential causes include:
- Weight gain
- Medications that increase uric acid levels
- Certain cancers
- Low thyroid levels
- Joint injuries
Many things can contribute to arthropathy gout. Responding to gout with an effective treatment plan is the best line of defense for preventing, or reducing the frequency of, future flare-ups.
History of Arthropathy Gout
You can trace gout’s history to Egypt in 2640 BCE. Byzantine Christian physician Alexander of Tralles first used Colchicine during the sixth century AD to treat arthropathy gout. During the 19th century, treatment shifted to uricosuric agents, or medications designed to increase the body’s natural excretion of uric acid.
Physical Effects of Arthropathy Gout
Arthropathy gout can be physically debilitating because it causes pain in critical areas of your body. Depending on the location of the joint pain, it can limit your range of motion, your ability to walk, and your capacity to pick things up and hold them in your hand.
It can also interfere greatly with your ability to work and the quality of life you enjoy when an arthropathy gout flare-up occurs.
Mental Effects of Arthropathy Gout
Any chronic illness takes a toll on people, mentally and emotionally. Gout is no different. While it isn’t a constant condition, the fact that it strikes at any time, can be so debilitating and may even cause deformities can lead you to experience depression, anxiety and diminished quality of life.
Arthropathy Gout Statistics
Gout impacts over three million people in the U.S., reports the American College of Rheumatology. It occurs more often in individuals with kidney disease, men and women past menopause.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, 60 percent of people who experience gout attacks will experience another attack within one year and 84 percent will do so within the next three years.
Current Treatments Available for Arthropathy Gout and Their Side Effects
Your treatment for gout may depend on its severity and could include dietary changes, lifestyle changes and prescription medications.
You can control mild forms of gout with dietary changes designed to reduce the levels of uric acid in your blood by consuming fewer purines. While this doesn’t present a cure for arthropathy gout, it does help to reduce recurrences and slows the progress of damage to your joints.
Avoid the following foods on a gout diet:
- Organ meats, such as liver and kidneys
- Red meats
- High-purine vegetables, such as spinach and asparagus
- Sugary foods and beverages
Additionally, consider moderation when consuming shellfish, tuna and sardines, though the overall health benefits they provide may outweigh the risks of gout flare-ups.
Healthy dietary changes can lead to:
- Weight loss
- Reduced pain from gout inflammation
- Better control of uric acid levels in the body
Your physician may recommend other treatment options to help you manage the symptoms of your gout and to reduce uric acid levels in your blood, such as:
- Losing weight
- Taking over-the-counter medications for pain and inflammation
- Reducing your alcohol consumption
- Increasing your water consumption or overall hydration
There are a few different prescription medications that reduce uric acid in the blood, including Zyloprim, Uloric and Probenecid.
The pills used to treat gout itself have to be closely monitored so not too much sodium, sodium uric acid or potassium are flushed from the body in an attempt to flush the waste chemical that produces gout. As anyone who has ever had a charlie horse knows, not enough potassium in the blood can produce the most intense muscle cramps ever.
While you’re trying to get rid of gout, why would you want to exchange them for the extreme onset of muscle spasms and cramps? And sodium itself helps regulate fluid levels in the body — without it, dehydration and extreme thirst with the potential for hallucinations can occur. How’s that for side effects of a medication that is supposed to rid the body of a substance that causes chronic joint pain and inflammation?
Other side effects of prescription medications for reducing uric acid in your system vary depending on the drug you take.
Common side effects of Zyloprim to include drowsiness, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting, changes in taste, muscle pain and overall stomach discomfort. You should consult your physician immediately if you experience the following symptoms:
- Numbness and tingling in your arms or legs
- Painful urination or blood in your urine
- Dark urine
- Yellowing of eyes or skin, which are symptoms of jaundice
- Unusual exhaustion
- Changes in urine output
- Vision changes or eye pain
- Unusual weight loss
- Symptoms of infections including fever, chills and sore throat
Taking Uloric may lead to common side effects, such as liver problems, nausea, gout flares, joint pain and rash, according to Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc., the drug’s manufacturer. It may contribute to serious heart problems, including:
- Heart attacks
- Heart-related deaths
Call your physician or seek emergency assistance right away if you experience any symptoms associated with these conditions.
Some people develop serious allergic reactions or skin rashes when taking Uloric. Seek emergency medical care if you experience the following:
- Rash symptoms
- Skin blisters
- Peeling skin
- Swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, lips or throat
- Skin sores near the lips, eyes or mouth
- Flu-like symptoms
Because of the potential harm to your liver, your physician will likely check liver function frequently while you take Uloric.
Common side effects associated with Probenecid include headaches, joint pain, redness, swelling, nausea, loss of appetite and mild vomiting.
Some less common side effects include the following:
- Flushing or redness of the face
- Frequent urination
- Sore gums
Most of the common and uncommon side effects are mild to moderate in nature and pose no real threat to your overall health.
You should consult your doctor immediately, however, if you experience one of the following side effects.
- Rapid breathing
- Irregular breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Tightness in the chest
- Changes in the coloring of your face in combination with one or more of the other symptoms mentioned
- Skin rash or hives also in combination with one or more of the symptoms mentioned
Medications are often reserved for advanced instances of arthropathy gout and may not be necessary for your situation. Considering the severe side effects possible with most medications, your physician may recommend that you try dietary changes, weight loss and other treatment options before resorting to drugs.
Recent Developments in Arthropathy Gout Treatment
New treatments for gout offer renewed hope to patients suffering from acute or chronic gout. According to the QJM International Journal of Medicine, physicians are using interleukin-1 antagonists that work with inflammatory reactions and immune response to treat acute arthropathy gout with some degree of success.
Febuxostat and pegloticase are medications showing promise as highly effective treatments for chronic gout. These immunosuppressive drugs prevent interleukin actions, which can interfere with immune function. Doctors currently prescribe them to treat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease.
Gout may be an ancient disease, but new medications appear to be offering promise and hope to those who suffer its effects today.
Medical marijuana and CBD both offer treatment options to relieve your pain, swelling and other symptoms associated with arthropathy gout